We will never forget…it’s the 21st anniversary of 9/11

Published 7:30 am Sunday, September 11, 2022

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It happened twenty-one years ago, but the images of death and destruction are as vivid a memory as yesterday’s headlines.

Most of us will be able to tell our children and grandchildren where we were on September 11, 2001, just as people my age recall where they were when President Kennedy was shot and my parents’ generation can remember Pearl Harbor.

The photographs of that tragic day recorded the sequence of events. Then pictures of firefighters and the victims they were trying to rescue reminded us of the terrible loss of life. We also heard stories for a long time afterwards of individuals and their heroic efforts.

I remember reading about Ronald Fazio who worked on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center Tower #2, who watched in horror as the first plane hit a few floors below his office. Ron started screaming for people to run to a stairwell. He went to the other side of the floor to make sure others were getting out, holding the door for them.

Co-workers later learned that Ron didn’t make it out. His family formed a non-profit organization called “Hold the Door for Others” to help people deal with loss of any kind (www.holdthedoor.com). Ron’s story is one of many about seemingly ordinary people who reacted in extraordinary ways during a moment of crisis, risking their lives to save others.

We must never forget the heroic passengers on Flight 93 who stormed the cockpit to keep the terrorists from flying the plane into the White House or U.S. Capitol, crashing in a Pennsylvania field. Fear gripped our nation as we witnessed an act of war on our shores. Many of us turned to Scriptures – seeking peace and understanding for unanswered questions.

The title of a book written after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 asked the question, “Where was God at 9:02 a.m.? That question could be asked about September 11 because the first plane attacked shortly before 9 a.m. and the second plane shortly after 9 a.m.

I remembered reading a Scripture that provided an answer from God’s perspective. Mark 15:25 says, “And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” God loved us so much that at 9 o’clock in the morning over 2000 years ago at Calvary, He was giving His only Son to die in our place for our sins.

On that dark day in history, Jesus Christ hung on a Roman cross and for six hours experienced the most excruciating pain imaginable, so you and I can receive forgiveness and salvation.

Some people described September 11th as America’s wake-up call, not just for homeland security, but also spiritually. Church attendance grew dramatically for a short time and then returned to typical numbers.

One reporter said that terrorists were trying to bring America to her knees. People across this country went to their knees and bowed their heads in earnest prayer for the victims’ families and government leaders.

Knowing that the terrorists keep trying to find a way to attack us again, let us not forget to take time to pray for America and those in harm’s way as they protect us.

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”